Lavina C. Jadhwani
In 2019, Lavina C. Jadhwani became the first woman of color to direct Shakespeare at the Guthrie Theater. Her training as a director includes a well-rounded education (BFA in Scenic Design and MA in Arts Management from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama; MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University), numerous fellowships (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the O’Neill/National New Play Network, Drama League Classical Directing Fellowship, Stage Directors and Choreographers Association, and more), and more than two decades of professional experience.
As an adaptor, Lavina tackles stories from the Eastern and Western canon, including classics like Shakuntala, A Christmas Carol, and four full-length Chekhov plays. She has a special passion for Asian American stories as the child of Indian (Sindhi) immigrants and the former artistic director of Rasaka Theatre Company (the Midwest’s first South Asian American ensemble). Identities she brings to her work include Bollywood brat (late 90s/early aughts only please), grandchild of refugees, breast cancer survivor, and math nerd (proud alum of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy). As a seasoned facilitator, Lavina leads with generosity, candor, and curiosity. She a horizontal leader who believes in making space for everyone in the creative process, particularly those from marginalized communities.